February 24, 2011

Rainy day off..

And I just made an eggroll salad!!

Ignore the fantastically gnawed fingernail polish and gaze at the beautiful salad that I invented take credit for.

There's one thing you need to know about me. I love eggrolls. I love them so much. I got a box from the store and I wanted to eat them all for dinner. As it turns out, these are not the best for you... So I made two eggrolls and then made a salad to go around them!

The dressing is the part that makes it all come together. I didn't really measure, but I will give you the best estimates I can.

Take 1/4 cup rice vinegar mix it with 2 TB sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Then add a teaspoon of soy sauce, some red pepper flakes, and 2 TB of sesame oil. The toasted kind would be best here. Then add a 1/4 cup if mayo. (I used vegan mayo because I love it.) Whisk that all together and then add olive or canola oil until it is the consistency you would like. Mine was pretty thick. 

I took spinach (I didn't have any other greens) and sliced up a red bell pepper, grated some carrots and some mushrooms and put them in my bowl. Then I drizzled the dressing on top. I had some "Chinese Noodles" (That's what it said on the package...it's ramen..) so I broke them up into little pieces and sprinkled them on top. I love crunch on my salads. Then slice up your egg roll and you're set!! 

I've had quite a few of these in the past couple of days. It makes me feel better about eating eggrolls...

Hey, it's the little things, right? :)

Oh. And exciting news... I got my cap and gown today!!!! yay!


February 21, 2011

Grilling out!

Since we are vegetarians, grilling out is a bit different for us. We have to be a little creative, and we usually make a couple meals on the day we decide to grill for other days of the week.

Salm made potato packets. These consist of potatoes, sliced onions, and minced garlic. You split them up into portions, and fold them into foil packets! If you have ever seen a Reynold's Wrap commercial, then you know how to fold a packet. I'm pretty sure you could even find it on their website. TA DA! I found it. So there you go. (btw....Reynold's Wrap does not know I exist...I used the off brand foil...)

But BEFORE the potato packets happened, I marinaded the portobello caps. In a baking dish I whisked together, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 TB soy sauce, a bunch of chopped parsley, and dried rosemary. I added a bit of water at the end so that it would cover the caps. I also added a bit of red wine vinegar because I ran out of balsamic... You can marinade them for however long you would like, just realize that the longer you marinade the stronger the flavor will be. Because of the hiking adventure we  went on, these babies marinaded for a LONG time. Like two days. That might be a little long... But whatever you do, be sure you flip them over half way through.

So Salm put the potato packets on the grill and then put his red pepper on there as well to let it blacken and get smokey and wonderful.
While we were waiting we decided to put the two acorn squash we've had for about a month on the grill too. I halved them and Salm took the seeds so we could plant them later. :) Then I put a pad of butter in the middle of each. Butter is so good with squash. Then on 2 of them I put brown sugar and then on the other two I put salt and pepper. I wrapped them up with foil as well and put them on the grill.

For the portobellos, I grilled them on foil instead of right on the grill rack. In my experience, portobello caps ALWAYS stick... So I just use foil. They only take like 5 minutes on each side.

We put the caps on sandwiches with some provolone and mayo. They were good. Everything was good. While we were eating I let the acorn squash finish. They were on there for about 45 minutes to an hour. You know they are done when you squeeze them and they squish. :)

Sorry there are no pictures. I forgot. I'm bad at taking pictures.

Off to study for a developmental exam!!

February 20, 2011


So. On Friday evening. I made some roasted brussel sprouts, tofu cutlets, and mashed potatoes.

Let me just tell you. Roasting vegetables is THE best way to cook most of them. They come out sweet, crispy and amazing. For the brussels (and it's the same process for most vegetables) I cut off the bottoms, and then peeled off the loose layers. I then washed them and cut them in half. I tossed them on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. That's all! I put them in at 400 degrees. I don't remember how long, but if you are in the kitchen you will be able to tell if they are done. They smell amazing! And when you look at them they have brown places and green places.

For the tofu...I'm not even going to go into that. It was just as I went along.
I will tell you, that I did not have time to marinate the tofu, so what I did is put them in a big skillet and boiled them in a marinade and then let them saute when the liquid evaporated and got mushed in the tofu. It worked really well. So, if you don't have time to marinade your tofu, just boil it in the marinade and it will infuse itself.

Yesterday, I had all intentions of grilling out. Salm and I bought some portobello caps, eggplant, and a red pepper. We also planned on making potato packets with onions and garlic. This did not end up happening..

We decided to go on a hike to Lake Fayetteville at about 4. So we get there at 4:30. We had not really decided whether we were going to go the full way around the lake, but once we were going I said we should. It was a bit longer than we thought and we ended up hiking about 6 miles. We got back to the car at 6:30. I wore my chacos out for the first time this spring, and my feet were not ready for chacos. They are very sore today. So it was 6:30 and we still had to go get charcoal. As we were leaving the lake I looked at Salm and said, "Mexican sure sounds good..." (That's my sneaky way of planting an idea...)
And it worked! Salm asked if I wanted to eat out and then grill tomorrow. (Sunday...which is today) Ah ha! My plan worked again. ;)

So we ate at El Camino Real. And it was gooood. And cheap. I love it there.

TODAY. So far we have planted a lot of seedlings. I'm using the term we a bit loosely here...If you know what I mean...
And we are going to a seed swap in a few minutes. We didn't have any of our own seeds, so I am making cookies to take! Cowboy cookies. yummm.

And we are grilling out tonight! For sure. I will let you know how it goes. :)

February 18, 2011

I am failing miserably...

This week has been crazy!
It has been full of school and night life and no sleep.

So, I promised an interview about this lasagna. Well.
I don't have that yet. 
But I can tell you how he made it, for the most part.
AND. I can show you a picture of the amazingness. 
So, from what Salm told me. He caramelized onions and garlic for the topping. He roasted a red pepper over the gas flame on the stove for one layer. He also made a tofu ricotta (this was a vegan lasagna). You can find recipes for tofu ricotta online. His usually has poppy seeds, lemon juice, garlic, and probably something else.
He cooked down some portobello mushrooms in a balsamic reduction. And he used a jarred sauce. 
If I remember correctly, his layers were something like, noodles, tofu ricotta, sauce, spinach, mushrooms, noodles, sauce, red peppers, noodles, sauce, onion topping.
He baked it with foil over the pan for about 45 minutes, but he only did an 8x8 pan instead of the usual 9x13 pan. I'm assuming it would take longer in the bigger pan.

So that was the lasagna. Salm didn't really measure anyway, so the interview wouldn't have been that helpful. 

I just need you all to know that I have not cooked all week long. I have been so damn busy that I have not had time. And I don't like it one bit. 
However, I did have some fun. Tuesday I went to a show last minute that was pretty good! They were a bit too hippy for Salm, but he lived. Then on Wednesday it was my friend Jackie's birthday. So we went to dinner and then out for some drinks. That was a good time too!

It's hard to do things at night during the week because I get up so early every day. The latest I get up is usually 7:30ish on Wednesday. ugh. Oh well. This is my LAST SEMESTER. 

I don't think that thought has quite fully sunk in yet.

Alright. So I am cooking something tonight! I'm not sure what yet. I think I have some brussel sprouts that are going bad...that is if they are not already... So maybe I will roast them. yummm.....

Don't worry. I'll let you know how it goes. :)

February 14, 2011

Oh my. I'm already behind!

Such a slacker. I know!

So, we got all the snow. And now it is gone!
It was in the 50s this weekend, so most of the snow has melted. It will also be almost 70 on Thursday!! I'm excited!

Yesterday (Sunday) we went to Eden Falls in the Lost Valley State Park. This is in the Boxley area of Arkansas and it is so beautiful there.
This is me by the natural bridge


Me and Salm! I had to edit it a bit because it was dark...So it's a bit off.

Me, sitting on a rock.

I climbed around to get by the waterfall to show how huge it was!
Right after this, Salm and our friend Lou threw snowballs at me.

Salm and Lou went in a cave. We didn't have flashlights (they just had the iphone) and I'm a bit claustrophobic, so I stayed behind.
But I like this one of Salm. :)

So today is Valentine's Day!
Salm made me a FANTASTIC lasagna.
I will "interview" him and get the recipe tomorrow. Or Wednesday. So busy...
But it was good. :) Then he took me to get ice cream. I kind of like him.

Love you, babe!

I hope you all had a good day!

February 9, 2011

Holy Snow!

There is a whole lot of snow here. A WHOLE lot.
This is probably the biggest snow I've ever been in. (That I remember)

We woke up at 5 and I checked out the snow to see if I should close the coffee shop I work at, and it was snowy, but not too bad. At that time we heard the cat outside, but we knew she would be ok. She's good at hiding in places. Then we got up at 9 and BAM...a foot of snow! I let the dogs outside and Sula was hiding under the shed and meowing at me. So I put on my rain boots and went out to get her. The snow got all in my boots it was so high! And Steve pretty much disappeared under the snow.

It's pretty crazy! Hopefully I can get Salm out of the house to go play. :)

I'm planning on roasting garlic today! I'll let you know how it goes!

February 7, 2011

Super Bowl!!!

The Packers won!!!!

It was such a good game! Salm is from Wisconsin, so he obviously is for the Packers. However, I have come to love them too. Here are a few reasons why:

Ah, Clay Matthews. You are a fantastic man...
Don't get me wrong! Aaron Rodgers is good looking too, but in a different way.
Aaron Rodgers is more of a cute. 

Anyway. It was a good game! I was a little worried in the third quarter, but they pulled it out. I am still in shock that they made it there! It was a long bumpy road and I am so happy for them.
I love championship games. I love when they pour the gatorade on the coaches. That's my favorite part! And everybody is smiling and so happy! I just love it. It always makes me tear up a little bit.

We went to a party at a friend's house. I made peanut butter cookies with banana and chocolate chips. I used the recipe from Sarah Kramer's La Dolce Vegan!. I did some with chocolate chips and some without because I have some friends who don't do chocolate. There was all sorts of yummy food! Guacamole, homemade pretzels, homemade marinara, Christal's famous pinwheels, and Mark's mashed potatoes. I have pictures of my cookies, but I forgot to get a picture of the table at the party. (I am a bit forgetful)

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures of Clay Matthews. And I hope you can endure one more picture of a very handsome man...

I think he's my favorite. :)

February 5, 2011

Mac and Cheese with leeks

Alright. So the mac and cheese was a complete success.

Over the snow week I watched some Food Network on Hulu because I don't have cable, and I saw Giada and Ina make their own mac and cheeses. So I decided to try my own. Oh, and on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives there was this restaurant that made a kick-ass mac and cheese. Ina and the guy on DDD made a white sauce first and then added cheese to that. Those both looked the most fattening, so of course that is the route I chose.

I had a huge leek that I needed to use, so I added that as well. You could use an onion, shallots, or completely leave it out.  I don't really measure well...So these are guesstimates.

1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced thinly
3 TB oil (canola or olive)
1 TB butter
2/3 cup flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
3/4 tsp nutmeg
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz parmigiana cheese, grated
4 oz romano cheese, grated
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup bread crumbs (italian, wheat, or any kind)
1/4 cup parmigiana cheese, grated
2 TB butter
1 box penne or similar pasta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Take the sliced leek and put it in a colander. Run water over the leeks and break them up with your fingers. Leeks can have sand or dirt stuck in them so be sure you wash them well.
Bring water to boil for your pasta. Usually the directions on the side of the box will tell you how much water you need to add. When the water comes to a boil add a teaspoonish of salt and then add the pasta.

Pour the oil into a large pot over medium-high heat. (I used a soup pot) Add the leeks. Saute until soft.
Add the butter and saute until it melts. Add the flour and stir around until all the flour is mixed with the oil. Stir around for one more minute. Now whisk in your milk. You want to whisk it around until there are no clumps. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Stir the mixture constantly until it starts to thicken. Turn down the heat to low and add all your cheeses, nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir until all the cheese is melted.

While all this is going on be sure you cook your pasta until al dente. Usually it takes about 2 minutes less than what it says on the package. Drain the pasta. Add it to the cheesy sauce.

Spray a 13 X 9 pan with non-stick cooking spray and then add your noodles and sauce.
In a small bowl mix your bread crumbs and cheese. Sprinkle cheese and crumbs over the top of the pasta. Dot the butter over the top. (By dot, I mean take small pinches or dices of the butter and put them over the whole dish in random spots. This will help the bread crumbs form a crispy crust)

Put the dish in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

I forgot to get a picture before Salm and I dug into it. 

Salm put a bag of peas in the microwave because we love peas . They were fantastic with the mac and cheese. I would recommend it. 

You can play with this and change cheeses, add mushrooms or other vegetables. 
We don't eat meat, but I bet bacon would work well if you're into that sort of thing.

I hope this works out for you!

Day One!

I've talked about starting a blog for a little while.  To be honest, I've been just a tad nervous about documenting my thoughts for all to see, but I really think this time of my life needs to be remembered.

Let me introduce you to a few people in my life.

This is Salm. He is who keeps me put together. 

This is Steve! He's my pup. 

This is Hobo. He's Salm's pup.

This is Sula. She's a mess.

I'm getting ready to go make some homemade mac and cheese with leeks. If it turns out, I will give you the recipe! I will also write much more later. Promise.